The Conference of Northern Californian Handweavers (CNCH) was held last weekend and I was honored to be a teacher there. Their conference is held every year, with this being the retreat year (no vendors). It was in Sonoma – the heart of wine country. My class was called Spinning for Weaving: An Introduction to the Rigid Heddle Loom. Since all participants were weaving on their own looms, we were able to maintain a more laid-back pace and really enjoyed the time. Picture above from L to R: Becky, Connie, Joan, Debbie (my Michigan helper!), Edie, Sandra, Kay.
Following the conference, we headed for the coast. At her invitation, we stopped by Sandra’s studio. Sandra is a retired PR executive who has taken up painting in a big way. She has set a goal of learning to spin and weave to work these arts into a multi-media piece she has in mind. Sandra’s studio snuggles up to a small creek in the shade of three “sister” redwoods. Check out her artwork at www.croneclown.com.
I’ve always wanted to drive down Highway 1 – the Pacific Coast Highway, so we did. My brother informed me that it is one of the most dangerous stretches of road in America. It was not as white-knuckle driving as the road west from Jerome, AZ, tho! We had to stop and get our feet wet in the ocean. It was brisk, brisk, brisk. The wind made it hard to walk and talk and turned the sand into a sand blasting machine. Pretty, tho:
The next day we visited Dharma Trading and found out why it has been a favorite for textile folks for 40 years. So much great stuff for dyeing! After lunch at a delightful Caribbean/Californian fusion restaurant, we headed for
gold country to visit Stephanie Gaustaad and Alden Amos and the birthplace of my custom spinning wheel. It was a great visit. We drank tea, scoured their incredible library, watched Linda Ligon’s interview of Alden from YouTube, went to a great used book store, hit a thrift shop and panned for gold at the river. Fun stuff. Here are some photos from that stop.